2010 GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: The Eleventh Edition

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2010 GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: The Eleventh Edition  

Posted: March 19, 2010 

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that will be tracked by the Council during the 2009 session. This is the eleventh update, covering the 2010 legislative session, which began on January 5 and continues until April 13. This list will be updated at least weekly.

Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel might be interested, and to utilize, reprint or quote from the bill analyses. We ask only that you attribute KRC as the source when you use our analytical material (so we can take all the blame for anything we've gotten wrong!)


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For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, to track
which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislation.htm

To find your legislators email, go to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm

The phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100 (this is not toll-free).

The toll-free meeting schedule information line is 1-800-633-9650.

The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or an entire committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305. En Espanol, el nombre es 1-866-840-6574. The toll-free bill status number starting is 1-866-840-2835.

Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for mischievous amendments.

Where KRC has taken a position concerning a bill it is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.

We've changed the format, so that bills we are opposing or supporting appear in the first section, followed by those that we are tracking.

Bills of Interest or Concern

SB 3 (Smith and others)(-)(Defeated in floor vote in Senate)

Self-titled "21st Century Bill of Rights" is a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent laws infringing in the right to bear arms, to sever coal from the ground, to post the Ten Commandments as part of an historical display (query, why doesn't anyone ever post the Beatitudes), and asserts sovereignty over all powers not enumerated in the Constitution (including presumably the rights to privacy found in the "penumbra" of the Constitution, which form the theoretical underpinnings of the Griswold and Roe v. Wade decisions.)

KRC opposes the bill specifically because the prohibition against laws directly or indirectly interfering with the severance of coal would, among other things, invalidate both severance and unmined mineral taxes, and mining safety, health and environmental laws.

SB 26 (Leeper)(H. A&R) (-)

Would eliminate current prohibition on construction of new nuclear plants in the Commonwealth and allow the PSC to approve new nuclear plant construction with only an approved federal plan for storage of nuclear waste.

Administration officials and the sponsor have indicated that lifting the 25-year moratorium is necessary to "begin the conversation" about the role of nuclear energy in Kentucky's energy future. KRC respectfully disagrees, and believes that allowing a new generation of nuclear power plants to be constructed without a permanent waste disposal strategy in place for wastes that include radionuclides with a half-life of 24,000 years, sends the wrong message to an industry that has seen no new plant construction since 1974, despite significant subsidies from the federal government.

The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 27-10.

SB 56 (Leeper) (H. Rules)(+)

EEC Bill would update the screening standards for remediation of contaminated properties to include the more recent Region 3 Regional Screening Level Table. KRC worked with the cabinet and industry on some technical language that allows adoption by the cabinet of future updates of the federal standards.

SB 105 (Givens, McGaha and Pendleton)(H. Rules)

The top legislative priority for the Kentucky Farm Bureau, the original bill attempted to preempt local ordinances that define some industrial livestock production practices as animal cruelty, by creating a Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission to set standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry towards the end of "safe, efficient and scientifically sound livestock and poultry production". The problem is that nothing in the original bill required anyone to abide by the standards that would be set by the commission.

Particularly troubling was that the initial bill would have prohibited continuation or adopting of any ordinance by any city, town or county that is "more stringent than the standards established by the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission". As written it was broad enough to preempt any local ordinances that have attempted to fill the gaps in state regulation of CAFOs and to potentially cause invalidation of local nuisance ordinances.

KRC worked with members of the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee to make the commission advisory to the state Board of Agriculture, and to protect the ability of communities to control and abate nuisances arising from concentrated animal feedlot operations. The sponsor specifically disclaimed any intent to affect CAFO siting ordinances. While the Farm Bureau may think that they've crafted a bill assuring that the standards adopted by the Board of Agriculture would not be enforceable (since those standards are specifically exempted from the penalty provisions of the statute) in fact counties and cities could adopt the state animal care standards promulgated by the Board of Agriculture by ordinance and provide civil and criminal enforcement of same within their jurisdiction.

KRC appreciates the work that Representative Tom McKee and Don Pasley put in on the House Committee Substitute. KRC recommended that a certified organic farmer be added to the commission, and Representative Tom Riner has introduced a floor amendment to accomplish that.

SB 133 (Harris)(withdrawn)(-)

Billboard industry bill that would create a program of permitting billboard companies to remove public trees and other vegetation in public rights of way along highways in order to assure that the billboards can be seen by the motoring public. As KRC has done over the past decade, it will continue to oppose the bill.

Senator Harris has withdrawn the bill, likely in anticipation that if House Bill 536 arrives in the Senate, the text of SB 133 could be included as a Senate Committee Substitute without running afoul of anti-piggybacking provisions in the Senate rules.

SB 139 (Stein)(S. Nat. Res & Energy)(+)

The "streamsaver" bill authored by KRC, would require management of mine "spoil" so as to minimize impacts on headwater streams.

SB 160 (Harper Angel)(S. NR & Energy)

Bill would create manufacturer responsibility for establishing programs for recycling e-scrap. Unfortunately, the bill is very limited in scope, exempting all but residential e-scrap. It is unfortunate that other than Apple, all of the major manufacturers of computer-related equipment sold in the Commonwealth continue to oppose a more meaningful e-scrap program; choosing instead to socialize the costs of disposal or reclamation of their products.

SB 185 (Higdon)(S. Licensing & Occup)(+)

Would require radon testing of all public buildings located in those areas identified by the Cabinet for Family and Health Services as having the highest indoor predicted average screening level for radon gas concentration.

SB 212 (Schickel)(S. A&R)

Would create tax credits for taxpayers who sell or lease solar PV systems that are installed on public buildings.

SR 160 (Smith)

Simple resolution would encourage Congress to provide a fair and effective approach to addressing climate and energy supply issues that safeguards American jobs, ensures affordable energy and maintains America's global competitiveness. Asks that Congress act to postpone EPA's adoption of standards for greenhouses gases until Congress takes action. Differs from the House-passed HCR 132 in that the Senate resolution calls on Congress to act.

As KRC testified in the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee hearing on HCR 132, KRC believes that Congressional action is preferable to the ill-fit of using the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program to attempt to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources, but KRC opposes legislation that would foreclose EPA action in the absence of timely Congressional action.

SJR 177 (Givens)(H. Transp)(posted)(+)

Would direct the state Apiarist to work with the Transportation Cabinet and local beekeeping clubs to identify state owned rights-of-way that could be made into pollinator habitat sites for bees.

HB 3 (Adkins)(H. NR&Env)(posted)(+)

Energy bill incorporating many of the concepts that are found in the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance bill (HB 408) that KRC drafted for the KySEA. Creates a renewable portfolio standard that eventually achieves 10% of nonindustrial sales of electricity, and energy efficiency standard of 12% of nonindustrial sales. Nonindustrial sales make up roughly half of all electricity sales in Kentucky. Measures that can count towards the energy efficiency standard include both end use measures such as those contained in HB 408, but also improvements in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and load shifting.

Bill also creates incentives for "low carbon" resources, which are defined as generators releasing less than 600 pounds of CO2 per MWH of electricity, or a gas combined cycle facility fueled with synthetic natural gas produced from a co-located coal gasification facility in Kentucky that captures at least 75% of the CO2 produced (pronounced "Cash Creek").

KRC is working on several technical changes that need to be incorporated into the bill.

HB 101 (Horlander)(H. Rules)

Would amend statute governing adoption of ordinances by counties to allow suspension of second reading in the case of emergencies. KRC has discussed with the sponsor and KACO the need to define what constitutes an "emergency" if a court decision challenges the lack of definition of what constitutes an emergency.

HB 110 (Overly) (+/-)(H. Rules)

Would revise law governing professional engineers and land surveyors to allow any employee or subordinate of a professional engineer to do work as long as it is "verified" by that engineer and conducted under his or her direct supervision. Current law requires that the subordinate or employee be a pupil or engineer in training.
KRC has concerns with broadening that class of subordinates to include individual not in training to be an engineer, and also the use of "verified", since most regulatory programs require that the engineer "certify" the would, not merely verify it. It is unclear whether some other standard of care is intended by using the term "verified". KRC will talk to the Board of Professional Engineers and Surveyors, and the sponsor.

HB 124 (Yonts)(To Governor)(+)

Would extend the registration of tanks eligible for remediation under the Petroleum Storage Tank program until 2015 and allow reimbursement for remediation expenses up until 2018.

HB 173 (Nelson) (H. Rules)

HB 173, as initially introduced, was gutted with a House Committee Substitute and replaced with a bill creating a mountain trail authority.

HB 175 (Steele)(To Governor)(+)

Bill seeks to encourage post mining development of pollinator habitats and would request the interim Natural Resources Committee to explore ways to support beekeeping on mine reclamation sites. Bill was criticized as encouraging mining, when in reality it merely encourages reclamation that is of benefit to pollinating species on minesites that will be mined in any event.

HB 183 (Wayne)(H. A&R)(+)

Would create tax credits for noise insulation installed in houses located within designated airport noise contours.

HB 185 (Wayne)(S. State & Local Govt)(+)

Would require posting by public employers of whistleblower statutes and restrict reprisal against employees who refuse to participate in employer practices that may violate a law or regulation.

HB 197 (Pasley and others)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)(+)

Would reauthorize the waste tire fee for six years. The Committee substitute reduced the reauthorization to four years.

HB 213 (Adkins)(S. Judiciary)(-)

Bill sought by Denbury Resources would allow a private transmission pipeline company to condemn private lands in order to construct a pipeline for transmission of carbon dioxide. KRC has spoken with the company's attorneys about constitutional concerns and has suggested that the company either submit to regulation as a "common carrier" or that it seek to use state highway rights of way. KRC believes that irrespective of a legislative declaration that transmission of CO2 by pipeline is a "public use," the reality remains that it is unconstitutional under Sections 13 and 242 of the Kentucky Constitution to grant a private company the power to condemn the lands of another private party where the public will not be able to use the easement that is condemned.

KRC testified in opposition to the bill in committee on February 11. That testimony can be seen on the KET website.

HB 221 (Belcher, Clark)(S. State & Local Govt)(+)

Would authorize formation of a regional wastewater commission and allow existing wastewater utilities to form such a commission, and would exempt the commission from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

Working with the sponsors and other House members, KRC negotiated a House floor amendment that significantly increased transparency and accountability to the public, as well as opportunities for public involvement in the decision by local wastewater utilities to decide whether to form or join a proposed regional commission for the Salt River Basin, and would establish standards governing the decisions of the commission.

HB 240 (Adkins) (Became Law) (++)

Repealed and reenacted House Bill 2 from the 2008 Session, to address constitutional concerns raised by the enrolling of the bill after midnight of the last legislative day of that session.

HB 290 (Rand) (S. A&R)(Under review)

The Governor's proposed FY 2010-2012 Executive Branch budget.

Administration's budget assumes over $800 million dollars in revenue from expanded gambling - a measure with little chance of success given Senate leadership opposition.

It is unfortunate that the Beshear Administration does not view environmental protection programs as among the core priorities to be shielded from severe budget cuts. The budget for air, waste, water, coal and noncoal regulation, forestry, and other programs have been cut by a cumulative amount of 25% - far below the point at which the programs are being fully implemented, despite the yeoman efforts of underpaid and overworked staff in the various program areas. As a result, staff are intermittently prohibited from working on state-lead programs where there is no matching federal funding, and actions are taken to reduce workload, such as issuance of general permits for wastewater discharges where individual permits would provide better protection.

The Governor's budget, even with the unrealistic assumptions concerning gambling revenue and savings from efficiency improvements in government, still cuts the environmental protection budget for the biennium further, reducing general fund support, and proposing an overall budget dropping from $290.1 million in 2010-11 to $259.2 million in the out-year. A review of the historical funding over recent years reflects that, for the most part, the budget of the various programs are frozen at the level of funding for the current fiscal year, after taking the most recent cut.

If there were ever a time to end the taxpayer subsidy of pollution by requiring that agency permit fees cover the full cost of permitting, inspection and compliance, that time is now. Those who purchase the products and services should pay the costs of the licensing and permitting as part of that product or service; the public should not be required to underwrite pollution by paying the lion's share of the cost of permitting facilities that use the public's air, land and water to dilute and discharge of their wastes.

The House significantly altered the budget and revenue projections. KRC will analyze both during this week as the bills head to the Senate for yet new revision.

HB 310 (Marzian)(H. Elections, Const. Am)(+)

Would place on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment to increase the sales tax by 3/8 of 1% in order to fund water quality protection and restoration, restoration and protection of habitat, wetlands, prairies and forests, and a third fund to support cultural heritage projects.

A durable source of funding for acquisition and conservation of natural lands in the Commonwealth has been lacking. This measure would provide that durable, recurring funding.

HB 312(Nelson)(H.Tourism Dev & Energy)(posted)(-)

During the past weeks, KRC has worked with the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the bill sponsor, and equine interests, in order to craft a much more narrowly tailored resolution with respect to one particular existing trail in Harlan County, and it is likely that neither this bill nor HB 173 will pass as drafted. That resolution is HJR 192, which passed the committee this week.

HB 330 (Henley)(H. Trans)(-)

Would allow multi-message electronic billboards to be erected in the Commonwealth, which would change messages as quickly as every 8 seconds. Electronic billboards increase driver distraction and represent a safety threat to the motoring public.

HB 348 (Jenkins) (H. Local Govt)(+)

Would require planning units to undertake an environmental assessment, called a "comprehensive environmental status review" prior to adoption of revisions to comprehensive land use plans and zoning regulations, and to develop plans to mitigate watershed pollution.

HB 362 (Thompson)(H. A&R)(+)

Would amend income tax law to allow Energy Star home credits to be used against individual income taxes.

HB 378 (McKee)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would amend the petroleum storage tank fund statutes to prohibit the fund from limiting the number of tanks that a particular entity could register for remediation under the SOTRA fund.

HB 396 (Riner)(H. NR & Env)(+)

The “streamsaver” bill.

HB 408 (Moberly)(H. NR & Env)(+)

Comprehensive energy policy bill would require municipal and regulated electric utilities to diversifying their electricity generation portfolios to include incremental improvements in energy efficiency and renewable power generation. Bill would also encourage investment in renewables by providing a "feed-in tariff" that would provide a floor price for energy generated and "fed-in" to the transmission grid. Bill is the product of a collaborative process of the newly-formed Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance, and was drafted by KRC, which is a member of the alliance. KRC appreciates the diligent work of LRC staff person Taylor Moore in reformatting and redrafting the bill.

HB 416 (Marzian, Wayne, Jenkins)(H. NR & Env)(+)

The "streamsaver" bill.

HB 419 (S. Nat Res & Energy)(+)

Establishes a Kentucky Land Stewardship and Conservation Fund and allows funds to be allocated to nonprofit land conservation organizations.

HB 491 (Yonts)(H. NR & Env)(posted)

Would create a program for management of geologic sequestration of greenhouse gases, implementing consensus recommendations of a legal issues workgroup.

Unfortunately, the original bill attempted also to declare that the ownership of geologic strata below 5,500 feet belongs to the Commonwealth, which was not a recommendation of the workgroup. That portion of the bill would constitute a categorical taking that property without compensation to the surface or mineral owner, in direct violation of Sections 13 and 242 of the Kentucky Constitution.

KRC worked with the sponsor and others to craft a committee substitute that replaced that language with a requirement that an applicant seeking approval of a commercial carbon storage facility first attempt to negotiate the rights to the geologic pore space (and any negative easements needed to prevent intrusion into that pore space by the surface and other mineral owners, and if, after good faith effort, the applicant cannot secure those rights, the applicant would request that the Division of Oil and Gas initiate condemnation action to secure those rights. The Division would follow the eminent domain act requirements, and the applicant would be responsible for reimbursing the agency for all costs associated with the action, including compensation of the condemnee(s).

KRC also worked to change the language that directed the Division of Oil and Gas to seek primacy for Class 2 and 6 injection wells under the Safe Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Control Program. The state lacks the resources to seek primacy at this time, and this mandate would have created a significant fiscal impact for the bill.
The bill will be heard in the House Committee on Wednesday.

HB 529 (Floyd and Wuchner)(H. NR & Env)(posted)(-)

Would amend the statutes governing the waste tire program and fund in order to limit administrative costs used from the fund to 10%, and would apportion the other 90% among crumb rubber, tire amnesty, and local collection programs. Due to serial budget cuts, the Division of Waste Management has had to use up to $900,000 of the $2.7 million collected to fund inspection positions. In an ideal world, it would use a third of that. Despite the higher administrative costs, no loss of funding in the collection or amnesty has occurred. Passing this bill without addressing the underlying problem of lack of solid waste program funding is not good public policy.

HB 533 (Pasley and others)(H. Transp)(+)

Would provide, beginning in tax year 2013, a 50% tax credit for the cost of installation of verified diesel retrofit technology to reduce emissions from on and off-road farm and construction equipment. Tax credit cap for any year is $2 million dollars.

A pilot program, funded with stimulus dollars, has resulted in retrofitting construction equipment in Kentucky, resulting in lower atmospheric emissions of diesel particulates and improving workplace and community air quality.

HB 536 (Bell and others)(H. Rules)(-)

Would exempt from permitting billboards that do not display a commercial message and which meet the dimension, and illumination standards established by statute. Intended to allow religious billboards along I-65 that were erected without a permit and in violation of setback requirements, the bill will, if passed, likely cause a loss of millions of dollars of federal aid highway money.

The billboards in question are, within the meaning of the Highway Beautification Act, "signs, displays, or devices" that are prohibited from being erected along the Interstate or primary road system outside of urban areas. The statute in question is 23 U.S.C. 131, which requires that states maintain "effective control" over the erection of such signage. The penalty for a state failing to do so is the withholding of 10% of federal aid highway funds.

23 U.S.C. 131 defines "effective control" in this manner:

"(c) Effective control means that such signs, displays, or devices after January 1, 1968, if located within six hundred and sixty feet of the right-of-way and, on or after July 1, 1975, or after the expiration of the next regular session of the State legislature, whichever is later, if located beyond six hundred and sixty feet of the right-of-way, located outside of urban areas, visible from the main traveled way of the system, and erected with the purpose of their message being read from such main traveled way, shall, pursuant to this section, be limited to (1) directional and official signs and notices, which signs and notices shall include, but not be limited to, signs and notices pertaining to natural wonders, scenic and historical attractions, which are required or authorized by law, which shall conform to national standards hereby authorized to be promulgated by the Secretary hereunder, which standards shall contain provisions concerning lighting, size, number, and spacing of signs, and such other requirements as may be appropriate to implement this section, (2) signs, displays, and devices advertising the sale or lease of property upon which they are located, (3) signs, displays, and devices including those which may be changed at reasonable intervals by electronic process or by remote control, advertising activities conducted on the property on which they are located, (4) signs lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, determined by the State, subject to the approval of the Secretary, to be landmark signs, including signs on farm structures or natural surfaces, of historic or artistic significance the preservation of which would be consistent with the purposes of this section, and (5) signs, displays, and devices advertising the distribution by nonprofit organizations of free coffee to individuals traveling on the Interstate System or the primary system. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "free coffee" shall include coffee for which a donation may be made, but is not required."

If HB 536 is enacted, it would appear that the Commonwealth would lose "effective control" and would be subject to the withholding by the Federal Highway Administration of federal-aid highway funds under 23 U.S.C. 131(b). According to a March 2009 FHWA Notice, that amount was approximately $528 million dollars for FY 2009.

KRC has asked the FHWA office in Frankfort to review the bill.

HB 560 (Webb-Edgington)(H. A&R)(+)

Allows tax credit of $3 per watt installed, capped at $150,000 per year for taxpayers installing solar PV systems on public buildings.

HB 562 (Pullin)(S. Judiciary)(+)

Would direct the Public Service Commission to establish feed-in tariffs, standard contracts and interconnection guidelines for renewable electricity fed into the transmission grid by an eligible customer-generator, which is a facility using solar, wind, hydro or biomass/biogas energy and has a rated capacity of less that 50 kw. Also raises the net metering cap to 50 kilowatts, and raises the cumulative generating capacity for any utility’s service area to 3% from 1% of single hour peak load.

The feed in tariff is more modest than that proposed in HB 408, but is a start towards creating incentives for distributed energy using renewable energy. The House Committee Substitute raises the cap to 75 kw.

HB 567 (Hoffman)(H. Tourism Dev & Energy)(+)

Would revise demand side management statute to incorporate federal statutes addressing integrated resource planning, investments in conservation, rate design to encourage energy efficiency investments, and demand management and energy efficiency investments in power generation and supply, revise combined heat and power definition and revise current PSC regulations to encourage combined heat and power systems, and would direct the PSC to grant full intervention to environmentalists in proceedings involving the rates, tariffs, services, resource plans and capital construction projects of utilities regulated by the PSC.

HB 598 (Combs)(H. NR & Env)(+)

Bill authored by KRC would require logger or operator involved in a timber harvesting operation to first file a notice of intent with the Division of Forestry indicating the location and duration of the harvest, approximate number of acres, providing a map or plat of the area to be logged, and the signature of the property owner. Penalties are provided for repeat noncompliance with the filing requirement.

HJR 20 (J. Fischer, J. Gooch Jr., M. Harmon)(H.NR & Env)(Posted)(-)

Prohibit enforcement and enactment of restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions by all agencies and political subdivisions of state and local government.

HR 24 (M. Marzian, J. DeCesare)(Adopted) (+)

Endorses the creation of a General Assembly Green Schools Caucus in support of efforts to build more energy-efficient, water-efficient, and environmentally sustainable K-12 schools.

HCR 84 (Thompson and others)(S. State and Local Govt)(-)

Would create a "Kentucky Natural Resources Caucus" within the General Assembly to support the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

In the interest of accuracy, the caucus should instead be called the "Fossil Fuel Caucus", since it ignores the above-ground natural resources of the Commonwealth, which are often damaged or degraded because of coal extraction, and oil and natural gas production.

HR 132 (Gooch and others)(Adopted)(-)

Encourages Congress to block EPA from developing greenhouse gas emission standards governing stationary sources.

While KRC believes that the better approach to greenhouse gas regulation is through Congressional action, in the absence of such action the EPA is obligated, having made an endangerment finding, to develop regulations to address stationary as well as mobile sources of greenhouse gases.

KRC testified in opposition to the resolution in committee on February 11th, and suggested that rather than simply opposing the EPA utilization of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program to regulate carbon dioxide from stationary sources (i.e. utilities and other major CO2 emitters), that the General Assembly should affirmatively ask Congress to act on a climate change bill. The Chair responded by reiterating that he did not believe that CO2 was causing climate change to occur. Ironically, not 15 minutes before the discussion, the Committee had unanimously voted to approve a bill allowing a private CO2 pipeline company to condemn other people's lands on the assumption that capturing CO2 was a "public use" because of the threat of climate change.

HJR 133 (Glenn)(H. Transp)(+)

Would direct the Transportation Cabinet to study the feasibility of establishing a high speed rail system for Kentucky.

HJR 141 (Hall & Edmonds)(S. NR & Energy)

Resolution would direct the Legislative Research Commission to open a case on retail competition in natural gas supply, and directs the study of particular aspects of the issue.

While KRC supports a revisiting of the issue of retail competition in natural gas supply, the initial resolution was drafted in a manner that presupposes the outcome of the study, and expresses legislative support for increasing retail competition. A committee substitute provides a more neutral mandate to the PSC to conduct the study, and to look at the performance of similar programs in other states.

AS KRC testified in committee, particular caution is warranted when evaluating the merits and demerits of allowing gas marketers access to retail customers now served by the incumbent gas utility. The existing Columbia Gas retail competition pilot has cost those who have participated, over the past eight years, $4.45 million dollars in increased gas commodity costs over what they would have paid had they chosen to remain with Columbia Gas purchasing and delivering natural gas to them!

HJR 192 (Nelson)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Replaces House Bills 312 and 173, and encourages Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission to negotiate a memorandum of agreement with Harlan County Fiscal Court to allow equine access to a ridge trail bordering the Shillelah Wildlife Management Area and Martin's Fork State Natural Area. Language has been substantially modified from House Bills 312 and 173 to provide General Assembly recognition that this is a unique situation and does not set a precedent for opening other state natural areas and nature preserves to equine access, nor requiring more horse trail opportunities on wildlife management areas.

Senate Bills and Resolutions We’re Tracking

SB 6 (Seum)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would limit the use of metal detectors in unimproved areas of state parks.

SB 14 (Pendleton)(S. Ag)(+)

Would allow growing of industrial hemp and create a licensure process.

SB 23 (Angel) (S. Judiciary)

Would prohibit texting and emails while operating a motor vehicle and impose fines for violations and for accidents where texting was a cause.

SB 40 (Thayer) (H. State Govt)

Senate version of BR 224, would direct LRC to design a website allowing citizens internet access to financial data about claims on the treasury by each branch of state government and higher education institutions, including the amount, purpose, and recipient of each such expenditure.

SB 46 (Boswell)(S. Licensing & Occupations)

Would amend existing law governing reinstatement and suspension of geologist licenses to allow penalty up to $1,000 per violation and to require proof of completion of education hours prior to reinstatement.

SB 50 (Higdon)(S. State Govt)

Would prohibit making prerecorded political announcements to phone numbers listed on the national Do Not Call registry.

SB 55 (Tori)(H. State Govt)

Committee substitute to original bill specifically voids certain regulations adopted by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services between March 27, 2002 and March 16, 2004 and from March 27, 2009.

SB 63 (Rhoads)(S. Nat Res)

Would amend existing law on mine subsidence insurance to increase reinsurance limit from $100,000 to $300,000.

SB 64 (Tapp, Pendleton and Tori)(H. NR & Env)(posted)

Comprehensive revision of statutes governing Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, would subject appointment of Commissioners to Senate confirmation.

SB 95 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)

Constitutional amendment to limit the scope of odd-year legislative sessions.

SB 104 (Givens)(H. Ag & SB)

Updates various statutes to align reporting by agencies to the changes in interim legislative committee assignment of agricultural issues that created an Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture.

SB 113 (Ridley)(S. Nat Res)

Would amend KRS 350.130 to allow electronic service of notices of noncompliance under the state surface coal mining regulatory program.

SB 116 (K. Stein)(S. Judiciary)

Would increase civil fines for violation of planning and zoning requirements and allow violations to be pursued through code enforcement boards.

SB 126 (Pendleton)(S. A&R)

Amendments to severance tax laws.

SB 128 (Neal)(S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment would automatically restore voting rights to felons on expiration of sentence, parole or probation.

SB 132 (Stine)(H. Education)(+)(posted)

Would establish standards for efficient design of schools.

SB 138 (Stein)(S. Judiciary)

Would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

SB 167 (Pendleton)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would provide for representation on water district boards for areas served by extension of service by a water district, and for cities served by a water district.

Senate Resolutions

SR 9 (Angel, Clark) (S. A&R)

Resolution urging Governor Steve Beshear to include funding for Medicaid-approved smoking cessation services in his 2010-2012 Executive Branch budget proposal.

SCR 22 (Smith) (S. State Govt)

Would reauthorize the Poverty Task Force.

SR 70 (Rhoads)(Adopted)

A resolution adjourning the Senate in loving honor and memory of Sue Anne Salmon.

SR 90 (Kerr and Denton)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would endorse creation of Green Schools caucus in support of efforts to build more energy efficient, water efficient and environmentally sustainable schools.

SJR 169 (Williams and others)(H. Rules)

Would ratify the bi-state Ohio River Bridges Authority.

House Bills and Resolutions We're Tracking

HB 13 (Wayne)(H. A&R)

Bill would reform tax code to increase tax rate on incomes over $75,000 and establish state earned income credit at 15% of the federal rate.

HB 14 (Siler)(Became Law)

Would allow up to three free nights stay annually for permanently and totally disabled veterans at Kentucky State Parks.

HB 24 (Richards)(To Governor)

Would permit an applicant approved for a limited supplemental guide sign to amortize the permit cost over 10 years.

HB 27 (Nelson) (H. Transp)

Would prohibit texting on a personal communication device while operating a motor vehicle, and would after January 1, 2010, impose a fine of $50 for each offense.

HB 28 (Coursey) (To House for concurrence)

Would create a Water Transportation Advisory Board to advise the legislative and executive branches concerning industrial water transportation and riverports, and a trust fund for improvement of riverport facilities and infrastructure.

HB 43 (Richards) (S. Judiciary)

Would prohibit texting on a personal communication device while operating a motor vehicle, and would after January 1, 2011, impose a fine of $20 to $100 for each offense. Committee amendment limited prohibition to drivers under 18 years of age.

HB 44 (Damron) (S. Rules)(consent)

Would authorize the Department of Public Health to create standards for mold remediation and allow prosecution for providers of mold remediation services that fail to comply with those standards.

HB 45 (Burch) (H. Judiciary)

Would abolish the death penalty and would commute all death row inmates to life imprisonment without benefit of probation or parole. Former capital cases in the future would be subject to life imprisonment without benefit of probation or parole for the first 25 years of the sentence.

HB 52 (Wuchner, Burch) (H. Ed)

Would require the Kentucky Department of Education to identify and disseminate model resources for integrating physical activity during the school day; encourage schools to utilize certified physical education teachers in the development of physical activity plans; develop a reporting mechanism for schools containing grades K-5 to report physical activity, aggregate body mass index, and wellness program data, and require at least 30 minutes of structured moderate to vigorous physical activity, 150 minutes per week, or the equivalent per month; and would prohibit exclusion from structured physical activity as a form of discipline.

HB 66 (Burch) (H. H&W)(posted)

Would declare that any regulation found deficient by a legislative committee since March 27, 2009 to be void, and would prohibit later adoption of an identical or substantially similar regulation.

HB 70 (Crenshaw)(S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment would provide for automatic restoration of voting rights for felons after expiration of sentence or discharge from parole.

HB 78 (Farmer) (H. A&R)

Bill would extend sales tax to include admissions, accommodations and services and lower the rate to 5.5% from 6%.

HB 89 (Meeks)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would define who is an "American Indian" for purposes of state statutes.

HB 90 (Meeks)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would create a process for applying to be formally recognized as an American Indian tribe by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

HB 91 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)

Would prohibit excavation of an archaeological site on private property without obtaining a permit issued by the Kentucky Heritage Council, and would make a violation a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and Class D felony for each subsequent offense. Would also codify a right to visit gravesites and private property for family members.

HB 92 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)

Would amend existing law to require that prior to alteration of real property, any agency issuing a building permit verify that the property contains no known human remains and that the Kentucky Heritage Council has issued a confirmation that no human remains or archaeological sites exist on the site. If a property confirmation or inspection verifies that human remains exist on the property, the state historic preservation officer is obligated to conduct a human remains outcome review. Civil and criminal penalties are provided for knowing violations of the Act.

HB 93 (Meeks)(H. Nat. Res.)(posted)

Would encourage state agencies to seek local recycling options, such as drop-off recycling centers; subject all agencies to requirement to annually report to the Energy and Environment Cabinet on the estimated amount of waste materials recycled during the previous year.

HB 94 (Meeks)(H. Ed)

Would raise compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years of age over a two-year period.

HB 98 (Miller)(To Governor)

Would require inspection of installations of new manufactured homes.

HB 113 (Denham)(H. Trans)

Would require headlights to be lit during any precipitation period when windshield wipers are used.

HB 114 (Combs)(S. Rules)(consent)

Would rename Pine Mountain Trail State Park to Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail.

HB 117 (Marzian)(H. Judiciary)

Would include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected status for purposes of state anti-discrimination laws.

HB 128 (DeCesare and others)(Reassigned to H. State Govt)

Would direct LRC to design a website allowing citizens internet access to financial data about claims on the treasury by each branch of state government and higher education institutions, including the amount, purpose, and recipient of each such expenditure.

HB 133 (Riner)(S. Judiciary)

Would extend to 2 years claims of sex-based wage discrimination.

HB 134 (Riner)(H. Elections)

Proposed constitutional amendment would automatically reinstate voting rights for felons who have completed sentence or probation terms, except for treason and certain violent and sexual crimes.

HB 140 (Yonts) (H. Education)

Bill would gradually raise compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years of age.

HB 141 (Nelson) (H. Nat. Res. & Env)(posted)

Would authorize any person to kill a black bear that was within 30 yards of an occupied dwelling if the landowner or tenant believes the killing necessary to protect anyone within 30 yards of the dwelling from imminent peril of death or serious physical injury. Such a taking would be required to be reported to a conservation officer and the landowner or tenant could not move the carcass or use it.

HB 147 (Cherry)(Recommitted to H. State Govt)

Would amend governmental ethics laws to extend ethics code and candidate financial disclosure requirements to charter, unified local governments, and specifically to property valuation administrators.

HB 148 (Cherry)(S. State & Local Govt)

Reorganization of Office of Attorney General.

HB 158 (Rollins)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would create training program for city officers and encourage the adoption of such programs by cities; would create a retirement incentive to encourage training of city officers.

HB 187 (Wayne and Riggs)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend planning and zoning statutes to extend ethics code to planning commissions and boards of zoning adjustment; would require each commissioner's vote to be recoded, would extend plan element research and forecasts to 20-year horizon.

HB 201 (Ballard)(To Governor)

Revision to statutes governing water district commissioners, allowing PSC to fill vacancies on water district commissions, and creating training program for new commissioners.

HB 215 (Gooch)(S. NR & Energy)

Would amend KRS 146.415 to correct a technical error in the definition of "nature preserves".

HB 232 (Burch & Meeks) (H. Trans) (posted)

Would prohibit the use of personal communication devices for texting and cellphone use while operating a vehicle and would provide for penalties ranging from $20 - $100 per violation.

HB 268 (Gooch)(To House for concurrence)

Would increase the number of annual training hours for a renewal of a Kentucky blaster's license and allow that no more than 4 of those hours in any year be attributed to attending a conference. A Senate Committee Substitute folded into the bill an increase in the limits available for subsidence insurance.

HB 273 (Moore)(H. A&R)

Would require equivalent cuts in the legislative branch budget for those made in the executive branch budget.

HB 274 (Moore)(H. A&R)

Would require fiscal notes for all bills including an appropriation unless a 2/3 majority waived the requirement.

HB 281 (Henderson and Stone)(H. Judiciary)

Would extend civil immunity from damages to persons administering emergency care at the scene of an emergency outside a hospital, to include persons completing wilderness rescue training that has a first aid component.

HB 283 (Gooch) (To House for concurrence)(+ / -)

Would raise permitting fees for new, amended, and revised surface coal mining operation permits. The bill is intended to codify fee increases unlawfully adopted in an "emergency regulation" last year that raised permit fees in order to fund permit review positions within the Department for Natural Resources.

While KRC supports the increase in fees in order to capture from the permit applicants a higher percentage of the actual costs of permitting and inspecting the mine operations, it appears that the fee increases fall short of capturing 100% of those costs, leaving taxpayers to subsidize mining companies by paying a portion of the costs of the implementation of the surface mining regulatory program.

The bill also limits the expenditure of any monies raised by permit fees to the Division of Mine Permits, thus making the remainder of the mining program (including inspection and enforcement) entirely dependent on general fund appropriations.

HB 291 (Rand) (S. Transp)

The Transportation Cabinet appropriations bill for the 2010-2012 biennium.

HB 292 (Rand) (S. Transp)

The biennial highway construction project bill.

HB 293 (Rand) (S. Transp)

The 2010-2012 Judicial Branch Budget.

HB 299 (Stumbo, Clark, Keene)(H. Licensing & Occupations)

Bill authorizing expansion of gaming to include Video Lottery Terminals at horse racetracks. Bill passed the House in 2009 but failed in the Senate, whose leadership wants to put the issue of expanded gaming to the voters through a constitutional amendment.

HB 304 (Stewart) (H. Ag & Sm Bus)

Would impose on owner or operator of a stockyard the obligation to maintain the interior and exterior of the facility in a clean, sanitary and orderly manner, including disinfection every six months.

HB 308 (McKee and Denham)(S Rules)(consent)

Would establish a Forest Health Board.

HB 309 (Koenig)(H. Rules)

Would abolish the Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation and vest responsibilities in the Economic Development Cabinet. If the Division of Forestry is to assume additional responsibilities under the bill, they need funding adequate to the tasks.

HB 310 (Marzian)(H. Elections, Const. Amendments)

Would raise sales tax by 3/8 of a percent until 2034 to create series of funds for parks, trails, outdoor and cultural heritage, and drinking water and clean water. Proposal is the product of the Land Conservation Task Force, which has been investigating durable funding mechanisms for increasing the amount of public lands available for a range of recreational uses.

HB 318 (McKee and Osborne)(S. Ag)

Would amend existing statutes concerning the formation of agricultural districts.

HB 332 (Meeks)(Recommitted to S. Veterans & MA)

Technical revision to reporting requirements for excess levels of lead in blood.

HB 393 (Pullin, Yonts)(To Governor)

Confirms reorganization of Energy and Environment Cabinet.

HB 401 (Rollins)(S. Transp)

Would modify transportation permits to allow cessation of work that is not in substantial compliance with the permit.

HB 420 (Couch)(To House for Concurrence)(Consent)(+)

Would designate the Hurricane Creek underground mine site as a state historic site and provide for development of a memorial to the 38 miners who died in the mine explosion on December 20, 1970.

HB 429 (Damron and others)(S. Judiciary)

Would amend statutes relating to criminal and regulatory matters affecting fish and wildlife resources. Committee substitute restored police powers to agency officers.

HB 431 (Flood)(S. Judiciary)

Would increase fines for violations of planning and zoning requirements.

HB 433 (Yonts)(S. Judiciary)

Would allow counties to designate persons to maintain and clear streams of debris, including on Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources lands.

HB 454 (Rand) (S. Judiciary)

Would allow utilities to place priority liens on retail business properties where the property is $50,000 or more in arrears for utility service.

HB 481 (Thompson)(H. A&R)

Would allow extension of the term of environmental stewardship tax credit on recycling equipment from 10 to 15 years.

HB 485 (Wayne)(H. Local Govt)(posted)(+)

Would require that MSD and the Louisville Water Company submit their proposed rates and rate structure to the Metro Council for approval, and also require that any location or relocation of a service facility be submitted for review and approval to the Planning Commission.

HB 486 (McKee)(S. Ag)

Would amend the existing definition of an agricultural operation in the right-to-farm law to specifically recognize the practice of sustainable agriculture.

The right-to-farm law, which seeks to constrain private or public nuisance actions by limiting the right to bring action to one year after commencement of the agricultural or silvicultural operation, is likely unconstitutional in light both of that statute of repose, and because it requires negligence to be proven in the context of a nuisance action, which conflicts with existing case law that has been codified into Kentucky statutes and with the jural rights protections of the Kentucky constitution.

HB 494 (Riggs)(To Senate)

Would create a professional certification program and Board for radon measurement and mitigation professionals, and require completion of courses prior to certification.

HB 498 (Pullin)(To Senate)

Would create a Passenger Rail Transportation Advisory Board to advise the executive and legislative branches on passenger rail transportation matters, including recommendations on improving passenger rail infrastructure.

HB 502 (Moore) (H. Rules)(consent)

Would prohibit requiring state agencies to use compact fluorescent light bulbs until the agency has identified a safe method of disposal in the area solid waste management plan.

HB 504 (Sinnette and others)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would require the state Division of Water to consider affordability, flexibility in implementation, and other factors, to the extent allowed under federal law, in issuing stormwater discharge permits.

HB 511 (Stumbo and others)(S. A&R)

Legislative branch budget for next biennium.

HB 514 (Riggs)(H. Judiciary)

Would establish standards for civil actions seeking damages for injuries related to exposure to silica.

HB 530 (Rand)(S. A&R)(+)

This is the revenue bill, which temporary suspends business tax credits in order to help balance the budget for the next biennium. Bill also removes the sunset language on the waste tire fund, allowing the fund to continue beyond the July 2010 sunset date.

HB 542 (Mills and others)(To Senate)

Would direct the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to incorporate voter registration into applications for fishing and hunting licenses.

HB 543 (Jenkins)(H. Military Affairs)(Posted)(+)

Would prohibit dumping of unused solid pharmaceuticals into a septic or wastewater system and establish fines for each violation; would also require medical and other care facilities to modify protocols to assure safe disposal of pharmaceuticals.

HB 550 (Fischer)(H. Elections)(-)

Would amend the Kentucky Constitution to allow the General Assembly to limit the amount of damages recovered for injuries resulting in death or for injuries to person or property.

HB 552 (Owens)(S. Rules)

Would make eligible for HB 1 tax incentives, an "energy-efficient alternative fuel facility" which is defined to include a fuel that is used to generate electricity and either uses coal with an energy content 20% great than feedstock coal, utilizes waste coal as the primary feedstock, or uses 20% of greater biomass resources.

HB 554 (Butler)(H. Rules)

Would amend Kentucky Constitution to create a salary commission that would establish the salaries for the legislature, judiciary and top constitutional officers.

HB 555 (Jenkins)(H. H&W)(posted)

Would require by January 2, 2011 that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in the sleeping areas of all single- and multi-family dwellings.

HB 575 (Riggs)(H. Rules)

Would limit the ability of local governments to take over and displace private sector solid waste collection and recycling services by requiring two public hearings, six months of advance notice, three year period prior to displacement and payment of 15 times the average gross monthly receipts; unless displacement occurs at end of exclusive franchise.

HB 588 (Adkins)(H. Rules)

Would allow HB 1 tax incentives to be granted to three carbon capture and storage pilot projects that involve construction of a new coal-fueled power plant that actually captures and stores carbon, as distinguished from merely being carbon capture ready.
Needs amendment to allow significant industrial sources (such as cement kilns) to be eligible as one of the projects. Eligible projects must involve over $100 million in investment and have received at least $25 million in federal grants or incentives.

HB 589 (Adkins)(H. Rules)(consent)

Would add liquefied fuel made from natural gas or liquefied petroleum made from natural gas to the category of "alternative transportation fuels" eligible for incentives under HB 1.

HB 591 (Graham)(H. State Govt)(posted)

Would modify the membership of the state Historic Properties Advisory Commission.

HB 592 (DeCesare)(H. A&R)

Would require a legislative "time-out" of three legislative days before appropriations or revenue bills are voted on.

House Resolutions

HCR 10 (Lee and others)(H. Elections)

Declares state sovereignty over power not given the federal government by Constitution and demand that the federal government case unconstitutional mandates.

HCR 11 (Crimm)(H. Elections)

Purports to restate Jeffersonian "principles of government" and to conclude that any federal court or presidential order that assumes a power not delegated to the federal government constitutes a "nullification" of the constitution, resulting in reversion of all delegated powers to the states.

HCR 13 (Floyd & Farmer)(H. Elections)

Resolution in support of second amendment and urging Congress not to enact any laws infringing on the right to bear arms.

HJR 16 (Nelson) (S. State & Local Govt)

Resolution honoring the Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe for their efforts to preserve Shawnee culture and language.

HCR 23 (Stumbo)(S. Judiciary)

Would reauthorize the Poverty Task Force and require a report by December 31, 2010.

HJR 69 (Rand)(To Senate)

Would give force of law to the Executive Branch Budget Memorandum that accompanies the final budget bill.

HJR 70 (Rand)(To Senate)

Would give force and effect of law to the Transportation Cabinet budget memorandum.

HJR 71 (Rand)(To Senate)

Would give force and effect of law to the Judicial Branch budget memorandum.

HR 91 (Ballard)(Adopted)

Requests Transportation Cabinet to study the potential cost savings from reducing the amount of lighting used at remote parkway interchanges.

HR 136 (Nelson and Stewart)(Adopted)

Would encourage the Public Service Commission to deny any utility request for rate increases that exceed the CPI for the previous year.

HR 156 (Meeks & Butler)(H. Judiciary)

Would encourage cooperative training for law enforcement and the judicial system in detecting, prosecuting and defending artifact theft cases.

HCR 171 (posted)(McKee and Pullin)(S. NR & Energy)

Commends the Executive Task Force On Biomass and Biofuels for their work.

HJR 187 (Koenig and others)(H. Rules)

Resolution would ask Congress to enact legislation to require the Environmental Protection Agency to consider affordability and the financial capabilities of communities in the implementation of the combined sewer overflow (CSO) long-term control plans.

HJR 197 (Stumbo)(To Senate)

Would give force and effect of law to directives in the budget memo for legislative branch.

HR 211 (Gooch and others)(H. Rules)

Simple resolution requesting that EPA consider increased emissions in relation to increased electricity generation when determining whether to apply New Source Review to modifications made in existing power plants.

By Kentucky Resources Council on 03/19/2010 5:32 PM
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